Nightjet launches Paris<>Vienna

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Just-Thinking-51

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Ten car train.

Towels are provided, as is breakfast, but there is no Wi-Fi and the heating didn’t always work.
The story link contain a few issues. OBB needs to address them. Also kind of glad people stay home after the latest outbreak.
 
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slasher-fun

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ÖBB is working with very old railcars (the couchette cars date from 1965, they've of course been refurbished since), Europe has basically a shortage of couchette/sleeping cars, and factories are already running at full capacity.
The first trainsets of the new Nightjet will be in service at the end of 2022:
 

Mailliw

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Amtrak also needs to study Nightjet's business model. We need more overnight trains between city pairs like the overnight NER and equipment similar to this would be perfect.
 

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Amtrak also needs to study Nightjet's business model. We need more overnight trains between city pairs like the overnight NER and equipment similar to this would be perfect.
In terms of actually building market share for Amtrak or increasing the rail/air/drive mode split, I'm not sure whether one overnight sleeper train makes much of a difference in the Northeast Corridor. Most of the passengers on 65/66/67 are riding coach and are only riding for part of the distance. My main experience is with 67, which, aside from providing service to Virginia, carries people who want to get into Washington early in the morning, mostly I suppose, from Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore. Most of the people who got on in Boston probably detrained at or before New York, as is typical for NEC passengers.

A Viewliner sleeper has 12 roomettes, one of which is reserved for the attendant, two bedrooms, and an accessible room. They're charging ~$300 for a room (OK, let's say $600 for a bedroom), if it's sold out, they get a maximum of $5,000 in sleeper fares. On the other hand, a coach fare from Boston to Baltimore or Washington is around $120. The Amfleet 1 coaches hold 72 passengers. If a car is full, that means it could yield $8,640 in fares. (This, of course, is a simplification, as most passengers don't travel the whole distance, but when passengers exit, new ones come aboard.) And there are 4 or 5 Amfleet coaches, so the train's capacity is actually 72 x 5, or 360 passengers yielding $43,200. You would need to run 8 sleeping cars with all the rooms occupied to yield the same in fares as 5 Amfleet 1 coaches. I'm not sure there's that much interest in overnight sleeper train travel to fill 8 sleeping cars every night.

In addition to that, the Boston-Washington route derives the vast majority of its customers from the more or less hourly trains (even under the schedules reduced due to Coivid). Twelve trains a day with a capacity of 492 for each train (6 72-seat Am1 coaches and a 60 seat Am1 business class), gives a daily capacity of 5,900 total each way. Obviously, a sleeper car on one of the trains is really only catering to a niche market. If you really want to get people out of cars, you need to have more coach seats available. That comes from either more frequencies or adding coaches to existing trains, or, preferably, both.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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In terms of actually building market share for Amtrak or increasing the rail/air/drive mode split, I'm not sure whether one overnight sleeper train makes much of a difference in the Northeast Corridor. Most of the passengers on 65/66/67 are riding coach and are only riding for part of the distance. My main experience is with 67, which, aside from providing service to Virginia, carries people who want to get into Washington early in the morning, mostly I suppose, from Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore. Most of the people who got on in Boston probably detrained at or before New York, as is typical for NEC passengers.
Sweeper train for those with early morning travel or late night travel. This train is surprising popular even as you stated the typical passenger flows.

In addition to that, the Boston-Washington route derives the vast majority of its customers from the more or less hourly trains. Obviously, a sleeper car on one of the trains is really only catering to a niche market.
The night owl is need to fill in a gap in the schedule, while the sleeper car might be niche, the train itself is needed. If your running this night train, having a sleeper makes more sense than not having a sleeper on this train.
 

Willbridge

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Sweeper train for those with early morning travel or late-night travel. This train is surprising popular even as you stated the typical passenger flows.

The night owl is needed to fill in a gap in the schedule, while the sleeper car might be niche, the train itself is needed. If you're running this night train, having a sleeper makes more sense than not having a sleeper on this train.
The availability of the sleeper also should result in the sale of some long-distance first-class / business class trips connected with morning departures or evening arrivals at DC.
 

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Sweeper train for those with early morning travel or late night travel. This train is surprising popular even as you stated the typical passenger flows.



The night owl is need to fill in a gap in the schedule, while the sleeper car might be niche, the train itself is needed. If your running this night train, having a sleeper makes more sense than not having a sleeper on this train.
This is all true, but the sleeper passengers aren't going make or break the viability of the Boston-Washington service (or even the viability of the Night Owl), and that would undoubtedly be true for other lines for which this kind of hotel train would be feasible.
 

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With few exceptions, the resurgence of Euro sleeper services has been on established routes with existing multiple daily frequencies and between city pairs further apart than virtually anything on the NEC save BOS and WAS. It's not a fair comparison. You need to look outside the NEC for city pairs where intermediate stops are less numerous and frequent, and then, as pointed out above, single-night sleeper service is a "nice to have" addition rather than something that is going to make or break the route.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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This is all true, but the sleeper passengers aren't going make or break the viability of the Boston-Washington service (or even the viability of the Night Owl), and that would undoubtedly be true for other lines for which this kind of hotel train would be feasible.
“Hotel train” betrays your biases.

Nightjet may call themselves a niche operation, but as it keep adding equipment and routes it becomes a network.

When a 8 to 10 hour route is established and enough trains are running daily, a sleeper train running on the overnight would be a good idea. Not even California has the frequency to support a night train. In Europe as point out above, the night trains are running major route that run eight or more hours. Some route required a change of train or two.

We here in the US can only dream of the level of passenger service in Europe.

I don’t recommend add a stand alone night train anywhere in the US. But to say we can’t consider one at some point to supplement a route is just anti-sleeper/anti passenger rail.
 

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Well here is the unique thing about the NightJet most of it's consist are actually sleeping cars it isn't made of just day coaches.

Here is the consist for the Berlin-Wien NightJet between Berlin-Breslau (Wroclaw) which is the Berlin-Poland Part.

2 Berlin-Wien Sleepers, 1 Berlin-Wien Day Coach, 2 Berlin-Budapest Sleepers, 1 Berlin-Budapest Day Coach, 1 Berlin-Przemysi Sleeper, 2 Berlin-Przemysi Day Coaches. However this portion of the train is cancelled now that goes to Przemysi which is on the Ukrainian border near Liev. Had it been running I probably would have taken it by now.

Now here is another one.

München-Roma

2 Day Coaches München-Roma, 3 Sleepers München-Roma, 1 Day Coach München-Millano, 2 Sleepers München-Millano.

Now if we would do what the Russians do which would require community rooms they can cram 64 into their Superliner sleepers. And it's reasonably comfortable. I would know I've done it now once. Not my favorite equipment of theirs but it works.
 

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Now if we would do what the Russians do which would require community rooms they can cram 64 into their Superliner sleepers. And it's reasonably comfortable. I would know I've done it now once. Not my favorite equipment of theirs but it works.
The densest AC Sleeping accommodation on Indian Railways is the 75 berth AC 3 Tier Sleeping Cars. No compartments but six berth bays with two additional berths on the corridor side. 9 bays plus three berths at the end. @caravanman has probably got way more experience in them than I.

Incidentally the through Sleeper trains have something like 20 or 21 Sleepers of various sorts plus three or four non rev space for food service, luggage, generator etc. They are invariably pulled by a single 7kHP 25kV 50Hz electric engine, many with HEP capabilities. The trains consists have enough self generating capability to provide itself hotel power from end on generators, which are not used when a HPE locomotive is attached.
 

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The densest AC Sleeping accommodation on Indian Railways is the 75 berth AC 3 Tier Sleeping Cars. No compartments but six berth bays with two additional berths on the corridor side. 9 bays plus three berths at the end. @caravanman has probably got way more experience in them than I.

Incidentally the through Sleeper trains have something like 20 or 21 Sleepers of various sorts plus three or four non rev space for food service, luggage, generator etc. They are invariably pulled by a single 7kHP 25kV 50Hz electric engine, many with HEP capabilities. The trains consists have enough self generating capability to provide itself hotel power from end on generators, which are not used when a HPE locomotive is attached.
The Russian Superliner sleepers in second class sleep 64 while the first class cars sleep 32. I can't begin to imagine how much a Platzkarty car would sleep but I would imagine it would slightly be more than the Indian cars. They used an innovative design to help with the roof design of the cars to allow for less room to be occupied by stairs.
 

Tlcooper93

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I agree with MARC rider. The Night Owl is a niche operation, but having sleeper service on an overnight train is a no brainer, and not having sleeper service on a night train is a really silly blunder.

In order to grow that "niche" customer base, the service needs to exist in the first place... since the tides of the cultural attitude towards train are changing in general, its a good move to have it.
 

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I agree with MARC rider. The Night Owl is a niche operation, but having sleeper service on an overnight train is a no brainer, and not having sleeper service on a night train is a really silly blunder.

In order to grow that "niche" customer base, the service needs to exist in the first place... since the tides of the cultural attitude towards train are changing in general, its a good move to have it.
I think there actually is a great market for a network of night trains specifically in the midwest, but that's also because of the amazing number of corridors you can build in the midwest.

When you look at what existed as far as pure night trains here is just a brief list of just Detroit, MI and their offerings.

Trains from Detroit that ran overnight for the most part.
-Chesapeake & Ohio "Sportsman" to Washington, DC via Huntington, WV, and Columbus, OH
-Pennsylvania Railroad "Red Arrow" to New York Penn Station via Pittsburgh
-Pennsylvania Railroad "Detroit Express/Pittsburgh Express" to Pittsburgh, PA
-Wabash St. Louis/Detroit Special to St. Louis via Fort Wayne and Lafayette, IN.
-New York Central "Wolverine" to New York Grand Central via Buffalo, and Albany. This train actually originates in Chicago.
-New York Central "Motor City Special" to Chicago
-New York Central "Detroiter" to New York Grand Central. All Pullman in 1952
-New York Central "New England Wolverine" ran westbound only from Boston.
-New York Central "Detroit/Indianapolis Night Express" to Indianapolis
-New York Central "Ohio/Michigan Special" to Cincinnati. Also carried thru cars for points south on the Southern and L&N.
-Baltimore & Ohio "Ambassador" to Baltimore via Pittsburgh, and Washington.

And that's just a brief glimpse of one of these places.

The real 1950s nodes for the Midwest Night Train Network were in descending order of importance Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Saint Paul, and Kansas City.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Well here is the unique thing about the NightJet most of it's consist are actually sleeping cars it isn't made of just day coaches.
You need to define sleeping cars. There a few more choices with European operating companies.

Coachette in 4 to 6 berths is very common but is it a sleeping car?
 

Just-Thinking-51

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I think there actually is a great market for a network of night trains specifically in the midwest, but that's also because of the amazing number of corridors you can build in the midwest.
I agree with the concept of a night train, but let get some day time trains on these corridors first. To just start a night train between any two cities with out several day time trains, does not make sense to me. Your intermediate towns are not going to provide much passenger at 0200 hrs. So you need a built in day light service before you tack on a overnight one.
 

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Although the non A/C 3 berth unglazed trains were our regular mode of transport in 1983, I must demure in more recent times. I have tended to stick with A/C 2 as the norm. I did find the layout of the 3 berth Indian trains did seem more spacious than the 3 berth EU night trains. (Of course, being India, back in the day at least, 3 berth was more of a suggestion than the + + reality... :D
 

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Although the non A/C 3 berth unglazed trains were our regular mode of transport in 1983, I must demure in more recent times. I have tended to stick with A/C 2 as the norm. I did find the layout of the 3 berth Indian trains did seem more spacious than the 3 berth EU night trains. (Of course, being India, back in the day at least, 3 berth was more of a suggestion than the + + reality... :D
Specially after the TTE had duly filled his pocket with assorted Bakhsheesh in exchange for seat allocation to non-existent seats 🤪
 

Mailliw

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You need to define sleeping cars. There a few more choices with European operating companies.

Coachette in 4 to 6 berths is very common but is it a sleeping car?
Nightjet's new couchette cars have a capacity of 40 passengers; 28 in solo pods, and 3 4-berth family compartments. No need to share with strangers.
 
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You need to define sleeping cars. There a few more choices with European operating companies.

Coachette in 4 to 6 berths is very common but is it a sleeping car?
In general, the night train networks in Europe (including ÖBB's NightJets) clearly differentiate between sleeping cars (which is comparable to an actual bed with proper pillow and blanket) and a couchette car which still allows the passenger to lie down but is much less comfortable and does not compare to a bed. In addition to that, sleeping cars are usually for 2-3 people, while couchette's are up to 6 - besides the solo pods in the upcoming NightJet rolling stock.
 

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Just saw a video recently (from Simply Railway) that SNCF is belatedly getting into the overnight sleeper business with a Paris to Lourdes sleeper. Interesting that they are running refurbished (and some non refurbished) Corail couchette cars from the late 1970s which would make them roughly the same age as the Amtrak Superliners which many consider obsolete. Personally having only coach sets or couchettes available and no food on an overnight trip would not be appealing to me. As Thibault points out, they should add some 1 or 2 person compartments and some kind of food service for these to catch on.
 

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If they are serious, which they appear to be, given the Transport Minister's inaugural speech, they need to acquire some Nightjet style rolling stock.
 
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